When I was young many years ago, boys would stand on one side of the gym and girls on the other. If you were brave enough you asked your favorite girl to dance. Then if you were lucky enough she would give you her phone number! This brought with it it’s own risk and tougher challenge. “Making the call” You needed to bring up lots of courage to make that call, overcome all the anxieties and fears of rejection that came along with it.
If and when you made that call and it went well it led to more calls or even a date! I remember spending hours on the phone with female friends, talking until the wee hours. Then we would go out together or in a group. There you got to know each other, became accustom to their scent, their smile and other mannerisms that are a part of the centuries old mating ritual. This is how relationships were formed, maturity was gained and love was found. Without knowing it you were developing skills you would have for the rest of your life.
I fear that technology is once again changing everything and not in a good way. I just read that in Japan youth for the most part are not as interested in dating or sex, they are as a society losing their desire. Is it because of technology? The youth in Japan were the early adopters of social media and mobile communications. They were first with cell phones and online chatting en mass. The cell phone has become a addiction. You go out to dinner and instead of 4 friends having a great time socializing and sharing with each other, you see 4 obsessed people tapping on their phones, each in their own little cyber world virtually ignoring their friends or family.
Now going back to school…
Instead of going to a dance or other social gathering a boy or a girl just reaches out on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. There is no more shyness, it is not hard to communicate, it is not in person. They live with a “virtual wall” between them, this gives them security. It allows them to do things or say things they would never do in public. Many of these kids lock themselves up in their rooms with their cellphones or laptops and engage in real small talk, speaking more in statements than to each other. This even goes to the point where they express their desire online to “hook up” and wait for a response from a willing partner. It is advanced communication but it does them no good in growing up or gaining experience in the real world. It also demeans human relationships and short circuits the centuries old mating rituals.
When these youth are together at school, many who are friends online walk right past each other, they ignore each other, their socially awkwardness is magnified. If they do communicate together it is “hey” “Hi” or a nod of the head.
These youths are going out to the real world, college or work without social skills, with poor writing skills. They are not prepared to interact politely with strangers. They sit in meetings and interviews holding their phones like a lifeline as if it was their only way to communicate.
I fear that youth in America are far down the same path as the Japanese. Will this lead to a disintegration of the family as we know it? Will the cellphone / computer generation lead to an end to romance? Has technology found a way to dehumanize our society?
These are challenges confronting America today. The question is, is this generational? Will future generations change? Or has technology and corporate greed for profits finally found a way to kill our society as we know it in the name of progress?
Copyright Piratearian 2013